Everyone knows salespeople get a bad rap. In a profession where persistence is a requirement for success, it can be hard to get your job done without determinedly pursuing prospects. Unfortunately, the word most commonly associated with sales people isn’t really a positive term—salespeople are often thought of as “pushy.”


Experts will tell you 80 per cent of sales require at least five follow-ups. Checking in with your prospects has value, but pestering them if they have clearly told you that they’re not interested may ruin any future prospects.

Common Mistakes That Make Salespeople Seem Pushy

The line between persistence and pushiness can be thin. If you’re guilty of any of these habits, you may be coming across as pushy by your prospects.

While persistence is important to help your sales, it’s best to steer clear of these behaviors to avoid annoying your clients.

1. You talk too fast and interrupt your client.

You may be an enthusiastic person who speaks at a fast pace and that’s OK. Being excited about your job and the product you’re selling is great, but speaking too fast can give the impression you’re just reciting what you’ve rehearsed. Never cut your client off—it’s a big mistake. Speak only when it’s necessary and listen attentively to the needs and concerns of your prospects.

2. You keep asking the same question.

Once you get all your information, you don’t need to repeat your questions. If you still need more information, try phrasing your questions in a different way. Don’t annoy your prospects.

3. You contact your prospects without any useful updates.

It’s good to stay on your prospect’s radar, but don’t be the annoying presence in their life who keeps calling or emailing. Reach out to your prospect only if you have something new to share. Wasting your client’s time by not offering them anything of value might end your relationship before it even begins.

4. You’re stubborn.

Sometimes—you just have to take no for an answer. If your prospect rejects your request remember that it’s for a reason. Try asking them in a different way, but don’t pester them for information they’ve already decided not to give you. Asking multiple times will only make them more uncomfortable.

5. You take too much of their time.

You’re excited your prospect answered the phone, so you think you need to take advantage of the opportunity and talk their ear off. Never forget your prospect is busy—very busy. Schedule a longer call when they have more time and give them information that is useful to them.

6. You come across as overbearing.

It’s good to believe in what you’re selling, but using words like “should”, “need to” or “have to” can make you seem domineering and condescending. Give your client all the information they need and help them make a decision if they seem undecided.

7. You push new products/offerings on them at random.

Informing your prospect of a new product line or service that could benefit them is a good idea, but you need to pitch it in a way that ties all your offers in together. Don’t just throw offers at them to see what sticks. Give them customized options that fit their needs.